Family who took in Nikolas Cruz believed they had only key to gun safe

As you’ve probably heard by now, Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz had moved in with the family of one of his friends after his adoptive mother died last November. That family, the Sneads, allowed Cruz to bring his guns but required him to buy a safe for them. They say they believed they had the only key to that safe but now believe Cruz lied and kept a key. From the Sun-Sentinel:

The couple both grew up around guns and are comfortable with them, but they insist on gun safety.

They made Cruz buy a locking gun safe to put in his room the day he moved in. Cruz had a handful of guns, including the AR-15 and two other rifles that Snead said would be considered assault rifles. Cruz, a hunter, also had knives, BB guns and pellet guns.

Snead thought he had the only key to the cabinet but has figured out Cruz must have kept a key for himself. The family kept their own rifles, bought after a burglary a couple of years ago, in a separate locked cabinet.

They told Cruz he needed to ask permission to take out the guns. He had asked only twice since November. They said “yes” once and “no” once.

So it sounds as if the family took Cruz in and made every effort to help him. They brought him to a therapist. They helped him get a job. They made him take adult education classes so he could learn to take care of himself. And they made him lock up his guns and ask to take them out. The fact that he did ask twice suggests he wanted the family to believe they were in control.

The family seems to be worried about potential lawsuits. They have hired an attorney and are giving these interviews emphasizing that they saw no evidence Cruz was a danger to anyone. For instance, they said he was kind to their dogs and cats and suggest they wouldn’t have tolerated him otherwise. The picture they are painting is of Cruz successfully hiding the dark side of his personality from them:

“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in an exclusive interview Saturday. “We didn’t see this side of him.”

“Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” James Snead said. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Sneads appeared on Good Morning America today and answered some of the same questions about Cruz and his behavior. The second half of this interview includes their attorney who says they are not worried about being sued (isn’t that what an attorney would say?). He’s emphasizing that the family has been cooperating with the FBI “from day one.” It looks like they are building a case through the media that they weren’t responsible for what happened. Assuming the story they are telling is true, it’s not clear what else they could have done for Cruz in the short period of time he was with them.